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  1. 1

    Food and population: The return of Malthus? Commentary.

    Bongaarts J

    New York, New York, Population Council, 2008 Jul 11. [2] p.

    This commentary sparked by the recent sharp rise in global food prices touches on 1) The connection between population and food supply; 2) Reducing unnecessary consumption could improve worldwide access to food; and 3) Practical solutions for the poorest countries.
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  2. 2

    Population perspectives and sustainable development.

    Rajeswar J

    Sustainable Development. 2000; 8(3):135-141.

    Neo-Malthusianism advocates 'population control' as the solution to all major global problems. While overpopulation is a serious problem, blaming the population growth in the South as the prime cause for the destruction of the environment is hypocritical. Rather than the 'bottom billion', it is the 'top billion' population from the 'affluent' West - and their 'effluence' - that is inflicting greater environmental injury to the earth. In the patriarchal system of free-market economy, aborigines and women are marked inferior. Given the strong preference for male children in many Third World countries, the statistics on 'missing girls' explain the sad situation of female infanticide and underreporting of female births. Most contraceptive research is aimed at women only. Furthermore, newly developed contraceptives would be first tested on poor women of colour, often without their knowledge or consent. However, after the 1994 Cairo Population Conference, reproductive rights and empowerment of women are recognized as key issues in controlling population growth. There must be a radical change and paradigm shift in policy-making at every level from subjugation and subordination to partnership in order to solve most of the world's problems. (author's)
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  3. 3

    [Some economic consequences of decreasing population] A csokkeno nepesseg nehany gazdasagi kovetkezmenye.

    Keynes JM

    DEMOGRAFIA. 1998; 41(1):108-13.

    A growing population has a very substantial impact on the demand for capital, because in a period of growing population demand is increasing in general, and even some defects originating in the oversupply of various forms of capital can be corrected. However, during a period of declining population just the opposite takes place and demand falls short of supply. The demand for capital depends on the population, the standard of living, and the technical level of capital. In other words the demand for capital depends on the number of consumers, the average level of consumption, and the average production period of goods and services. During the period 1860-1913 the technical duration of production did not change significantly, however, the British population grew by 50% and the population supplied by British industry and investments even more. The standard of living also grew by 60%, and consequently the increased demand for capital could be attributed to the growth of the population and the standard of living and only to a lesser degree to technical changes. The population data indicated that about half the rate of growth of capital was needed for caring for the needs of the growing population. On the other hand, if the population is declining, maintaining the standard of living is a lot more difficult than earlier. The dilemma of how to avoid unemployment at the time of a growing population can be resolved by a policy that distributes income more equally and that regulates interest rates.
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  4. 4

    Population, Consumption and Ecology project enters publication and dissemination phase.

    Coward H


    In 1993, an article in the "Atlantic Monthly" summarized population perspectives from a variety of disciplines but never mentioned religion. By 1994, the views of Muslims and Catholics were particularly evident at the 1994 Cairo UN Conference on Population and Development. Religious views affected draft documents of the conference, conference discussions, and the final Program of Action. The Cairo meetings were the first UN summits that allowed the contributions of nongovernmental organizations, including religious groups, at three preparatory meetings, the Cairo conference itself, and subsequent UN meetings in Copenhagen and Beijing. The Cairo conference evolved into a discussion of environmental degradation, population pressure, and excessive consumption, a departure from its original focus on the population problem and development. Current challenges are the trends in reproduction and consumption that threaten future generations and the ecology of the earth. World solutions will now engage religions and others knowledgeable about natural and human sciences. The Religious Consultation project is producing its publication on the wisdom of religions on population pressure, excessive consumption, and ecological degradation. The Project participants include US scholars from Kent State in Ohio (Islam), University of Wisconsin-Saint Clair (Buddhism), Drew University (Christianity), Colombia (Christianity), University of Florida-Gainsville (Hinduism), Rutgers University (Chinese religions), UCLA (Judaism), University of California-Santa Barbara (North American aboriginal religions), and a Japanese scholar from Bunkyo University (Buddism). The publications will include a formal one, a popular edition, and a theme issue in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion in the summer of 1997.
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  5. 5

    Post-communal land ownership: poverty and political philosophy.

    Richards D

    In: Commons without tragedy. Protecting the environment from overpopulation -- a new approach, edited by Robert V. Andelson. London, England, Shepheard-Walwyn, 1991. 83-108.

    Absolute private ownership of land has been traced to ancient Near East civilizations, including the Canaanites, the Phoenicians, and later to Carthage whose land laws were adopted later by the Romans. Eventually the modern Western world revived land ownership laws and applied them to the atmosphere, ocean beds, and Antarctica through pollution permits and mining licenses. The socially unjust and inefficient system of land tenure of the West is the source of the population concerns of the late 20th century, the abuse of the environment, and crises in terms of lopsided distribution of income and wealth. Private land ownership increased productivity, but it overexploited the environment and was not the sole curse to achieve progress. Some demographers maintain that poverty causes population problems by inducing high birth rates. There is also the hypothesis that large-scale poverty is the result of private land ownership. The concept of land rent and decisions regarding its distribution is detailed in the context of the current debate on environmental policy. The World Bank showed that the developing world, with 80% of the global population, is responsible for only 7% of carbon dioxide emissions. The links between land tenure, demographic problems, and other environmental problems are further examined. The political branch of the rural real estate business hastened the demise of the family farm in the United States. Latin America has the longest history of private land ownership, with the results of land left idle and massive poverty despite higher productivity on small plots. The South is repeating the same ruinous and wasteful tactics of devalued land ownership as the North as done (including the USSR prior to perestroika). The western model of economic growth has increased poverty on the Indian subcontinent owing to avoidance of the land tax. The African situation is similar with increasing numbers of people being crammed into inferior land.
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  6. 6
    Peer Reviewed

    Population growth and optimality: when does serendipity hold?

    Michel P; Pestieau P


    This note gives the conditions under which there is an interior optimum rate of population growth in a two-generations-overlapping model. These conditions imply complementarity both in production and in consumption. They also validate Samuelson's serendipity theorem. (EXCERPT)
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  7. 7

    Jean-Baptiste Say on the effects of production on population.

    Say JB

    POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1993 Jun; 19(2):349-63.

    Jean-Baptiste Say had a varied career in business, government, journalism, and academia, and became the most prominent French economist of the early 19th century. His major work known as the "Traite d'economie politique" was published in 1803, and was widely used as a textbook. He is remembered mainly for Say's Law: supply creates its own demand. As fears mounted that the industrial revolution would cause a general glut of commodities and manufactures, this law effectively discounted the notion on the basis that increasing production tends to comparably increase purchasing power. Say also argues an analogous proposition in the demographic sphere to the extent that population growth will correspond with the available means of subsistence. Although intriguing, this argument rests upon an assumed limited probability that per capita level of consumption will increase. With asides pointing to his central thesis, Say addresses the ineffectuality of pronatalist incentives in the face of individual interest; the distinction between high and low mortality regimes delivering the same population growth; the essence of a life-cycle model of human capital; the identification of good government with less frequent interference by public authority; and the diseconomies of scale in overgrown cities manifested in an "aggregate of little inconveniences." Chapter 11 of book 2 of Charles-Robert Prinsep's 1821 English translation of the "Traite" is presented in full in this paper, albeit without the translator's footnotes.
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  8. 8

    The South should not heed lethal sermons from the North.

    Banerji D

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1993; 14(2):118-9.

    The idea that pragmatism is preferable to humanitarianism is an extreme example of Machiavellianism. Dr. Martin praises Maurice King's ideas as the only way to achieve the sustainable development of the planet. Halfdan Mahler equated them to a proposal for mass euthanasia of children in the south. Dr. Martin has chosen to ignore that, during the past 3 decades, experts from the north have regarded almost all the countries of the south from a Malthusian viewpoint, considering population growth as the cause of poverty, rather than the other way round. Dr. Martin is timid about writing prescriptions for the north, where 15-20% of the world's population consumes 70-80% of its resources. It is too simplistic to presume that public health interventions are responsible for the present demographic and ecological crisis and that the tide of disaster can be turned if men of the north stop international public health interventions. He ignores the refusal of the countries of the north to make adequate contributions to ecologically sustainable development, the grossly unjust north-south terms of trade, the hemorrhage of resources from the south to the north, the economic, social, political and military domination of the north over the south, and the sharp contrast between the elite classes and the vast masses in the countries of the south. The population problem of the south is serious, and the Malthusian approach should give way to strategies aimed at encouraging oppressed people to have smaller families. Viable programs should be devised to improve socioeconomic conditions, and the Alma-Ata approach to primary care should be implemented. The time has come for the north to have a deeper understanding of the threat posed by rapid population increase in the south in a wider intersectoral context.
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  9. 9
    Peer Reviewed

    Age structure and capital dilution effects in neo-classical growth models.

    Blanchet D


    Economists often over estimate capital dilution effects when applying neoclassical growth models which use age structured population and depreciation of capital stock. This occurs because capital stock is improperly characterized. A standard model which assumes a constant depreciation of capital intimates that a population growth rate equal to a negative constant savings ratio is preferable to any higher growth rate. Growth rates which are lower than a negative constant savings ratio suggest an ever growing capital/labor ratio and an ever growing standard of living, even if people do not save. This is suggested because the natural reduction of the capital stock through depreciation is slower than the population decrease which is simply unrealistic. This model overlooks the fact that low or negative growth rates result in an ageing of the capital stock, and this ageing subsequently results in an increase of the overall rate of capital depreciation. In that overly simplistic model, depreciation was assumed independent of the age of the captial stock. Incorporating depreciation as a variable into a model allows a more symmetric treatment of capital. Using models with heterogenous capital, this article explores what occurs when more than 1 kind of capital good is involved in production and when these various captial goods have different lengths of life. Applying economic models, it also examines what occurs when the length of life of capital may vary. These variations correct the negative impact that population growth can have on per capital production and consumption.
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  10. 10

    Demographic causes and consequences of the industrial revolution.

    Simon JL

    [Unpublished] 1989. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Baltimore, Maryland, March 30 - April 1, 1989. 30 p.

    The relationship of population to the Industrial Revolution is such that population density and economic development in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe were causes of each other. Industrialized society allowed larger numbers of people to survive than did agrarian society. Greater agricultural yields produced by fewer people permitted more people for both non-agricultural activities and for creating demand for more products. The population in Europe during this period increased exponentially because of a plummeting death rate, higher marriage rates and birth rates, and increased life expectancy. The precise causes of these trends are still unclear, but changes in climate and rodent disease vectors and improved nutrition, transportation, and public health are cited. Contrary to accepted demographic theory, this increase in population density lead to the 1st permanent increase in living standards for the bulk of the population to above subsistence levels. Thus more people, wealthy and poor, were enabled to live. The Industrial Revolution was both a cause and a consequence of an exodus from farming. More consumers demanded better food, and thus created a demand for agricultural technology. Similar demand relationships appeared for energy development, physical and social capital, infrastructure, and social and political organization. Population density lead to better organized markets. Why an industrial revolution did not occur in China or India was probably due to serfdom and social immobility. Demographic change was an indispensable element woven into the fabric of the Industrial Revolution.
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  11. 11

    Demographic effects and aggregation in a life cycle model.

    Creedy J

    METROECONOMICA. 1988 Feb; 39(1):67-81.

    The purpose of this paper is to examine "how the changing distribution of household size with age, and the changing distribution of income with age, can be integrated into a simple life cycle model....The results are useful for the examination of changes in consumption/income ratios over time, and for comparisons among countries. Furthermore, the aggregate consumption functions generally used in applied work do not allow discrimination among alternative theories, and the present approach offers some potential for more extensive tests of the basic life cycle hypothesis." (EXCERPT)
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  12. 12
    Peer Reviewed

    A reformulation of the economic theory of fertility.

    Becker GS; Barro RJ

    QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS. 1988 Feb; 103(1):1-25.

    An economic analysis of the linkages in fertility rates and capital accumulation across generations is developed, considering the determination of fertility and capital accumulation in each generation when wage rates and interest rates are parameters to each family and to open economies. The model is based on the assumption that parents are altruistic toward their children. The utility of parents depends on their own consumption and on the utility of each child and the number of children. By relating the utility of children to their own consumption and to the utility of their children, a dynastic utility function was obtained that depends on the consumption and number of descendants in all generations. The term "reformulation" was used because of the emphasis on dynastic utility model of altruism toward children and deriving the budget constraint and utility function of a dynastic family, the model was applied to the Great Depression and World War II. The 1st-order conditions to maximize utility imply that fertility in any generation depends positively on the real interest rate and the degree of altruism and negatively on the rate of growth in per capita consumption from 1 generation to the next. Consumption of each descendant depends positively on the net cost of rearing a desdendant. Applying the model, it is shown that the analysis is consistent with baby busts during the Depression and the war and with a baby boom after the war. The effects on fertility of child mortality, subsidies to (or taxes on) children, and social security and other transfer payments to adults were considered. The demand for surviving children rises during the transition to low child mortality, but demand for survivors return to its prior level once mortality stabilizes at a low level. Fertility falls in response to declines in international real interest rates and increases in an economy's rate of technological progress. Extending the analysis to include life-cycle variations in consumption, earnings, and utility, fertility emerges as a function of expenditures on the subsistence and human capital of children but not of expenditures that simply raise the consumption of children. The path of aggregate consumption in demographic steady states does not depend on interest rates, time preference, or other determinants of life-cycle variations in consumption.
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  13. 13

    Commodity production and population control in rural areas.

    Wang M

    POPULATION RESEARCH. 1986 Apr; 3(2):9-14.

    The effect of growth of rural commodity production in China on population is discussed theoretically. In primitive societies, rural people desire more children to do the work; in capitalist societies they desire fewer because children need to be educated and interfere with consumption. In socialist societies, desired family size depends on the developmental level. In China, rural industrial output made up 11.7% of the national product in 1982, and is growing. The economic structure is changing so that 100 million people will be working in rural enterprises by 2000. Childbearing practices will change as people are freed from the land. Several trends will limit population growth. As incomes rise, desire for consumer goods will decrease population growth. Investment in production, technical education, science and culture will increase. Rural development will make funds available to spend on family planning. On the other hand, rural commodity production may stimulate population growth temporarily because currently the production unit is the family, and many specialized workers are needed to run these enterprises. Other factors, such as traffic and poor transport in market towns, slow change in attitudes of rural people, the tradition of small production units will reverse family planning trends. Another possible factor is focusing effort on material production rather than family planning work. Measures to be taken to enhance family planning while rural development takes place include: encouragement of large-scale production and specialization of labor; investment in education in technology, science, culture and health; adaptation of family planning methods to local conditions; and training of more and better qualified family planning workers.
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  14. 14

    Malthus' preconditions to moral restraint and modern population economics.

    Silber J

    GENUS. 1986 Jul-Dec; 42(3-4):13-21.

    The author examines the writings of Malthus and compares them with basic tenets of two modern economic approaches to fertility studies. It is suggested that "Leibenstein and Easterlin, on the one hand, base their arguments on the central role of aspirations and of relative income or status, whether it be that of the parents or of the friends and neighbors. We argue that aspirations and relative income effects are quite close to Malthus' ideas on 'forward looking' and self respect. The other modern economic approach to fertility studies, the Chicago school, is centered on the effect of human capital on consumption and fertility decisions, and we think that this idea was not too strange to Malthus when he emphasized foresight and the desire for knowledge." (SUMMARY IN FRE AND ITA) (EXCERPT)
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  15. 15

    [Questions with regard to the balance among population resources, environment and development before the International Population Conference] Algunas cuestiones en torno al balance entre poblacion, recursos, medio ambiente y desarrollo, ante la Conferencia Internacional de Poblacion.

    Ham Chande R

    In: Reunion Nacional sobre Poblacion, Recursos, Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo, Tijuana, Baja California, June 15, 1984, [compiled by] Mexico. Consejo Nacional de Poblacion [CONAPO]. Mexico City, Mexico, CONAPO, 1984. 21-33.

    The interconnections between population, resources, the environment, and development are complex and difficult to analyze. Deleterious consequences of population pressure and development on resources and the environment are recognized, but advocates of extreme conservation may not be willing to acknowledge that some resource use is necessary for survival. On the other hand, those who wish to provide each of the earth's several billion inhabitants with a modern, materially advantaged lifestyle may not acknowledge that resources are too limited to support such a standard. The belief that slowing population growth by itself will free the world of resource constraints is simplistic. The rapid fall in fertility rates in Mexico and Latin America will not solve any economic problems. In absolute terms, Mexican and Latin American population growth will continue to be immense. Almost all countries are aware of the need to slow demographic growth. It is necessary, however, for developing countries to take the position in the impending World Population Conference that slower population growth will not by itself solve the development problem. Focusing exclusively on population pressure ignores the inequities in distribution of income and wealth found between nations and within even the poorest nations. Environmental impact and resource use are determined by consumption in developed countries and among elite classes in developing countries more than by population size.
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  16. 16

    Private production, collective consumption, and regional population structure: the interactions between public and private good provision as determinants of community composition.

    McGuire MC

    JOURNAL OF REGIONAL SCIENCE. 1986 Nov; 26(4):677-705.

    Theories of trade and migration explain the distribution of individuals among regions based on private good productivities. The theory of local public goods (LPG's) uses collective good consumption economies to explain the size and composition of communities. This essay combines the two theories, to explore regional population heterogeneity and stability. Assuming that individuals must consume and produce in the same jurisdiction, the paper examines the nature of efficient allocations, the tensions between the private and public incentives, the nature of the equilibrium (if any) which migration among jurisdictions will generate, and how such equilibrium will depend on tax rules for sharing the costs of the LPG. (EXCERPT)
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  17. 17
    Peer Reviewed

    The "old age security hypothesis" reconsidered

    Nerlove M; Razin A; Sadka E

    JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS. 1985 Aug; 18(2-3):243-52.

    That the introduction of a means for transferring present to future consumption other than children in a developing country will reduce the rate of population growth is shown to depend crucially on the assumption that parents do not care about the numbers or the welfare of the children they have. When parents do care, the conclusion no longer unambiguously follows because the new means for providing for parents' old age leads to a positive income effect. (EXCERPT)
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  18. 18

    [Is population growth the source of misery in the Third World?] La croissance demographique est-elle responsable de la misere du Tiers Monde.

    Chesnais JC

    Recherche. 1985 Nov; 16(171):1380-1.

    The developing countries experienced their most rapid demographic growth of 2-4% per year between 1950-80, with the highest rates occurring in the 1960s and a slight easing taking place in the 1970s. The most direct way of assessing whether this extraordinary demographic growth impeded economic development is to calculate the correlation between demographic growth and the per capita gross national product (GNP) at constant prices. The average annual growth of GNP in developing countries from 1950-75 was 3.4% compared to 3.2% in developed countries, while the rates from 1975-80 were 2.4% and 2.8% respectively. The average rate of growth of GNP in developed countries was only about 2% in the 1st half of this century, while that in many developing countries has been zero for centuries. The postwar demographic explosion therefore coincided with an unprecedented economic explosion. Between 1950-80, the population of India and China increased by about 800 million persons, but economic progress even in India was substantial. China and Pakistan saw a doubling and Mexico and Brazil a tripling of per capita income. This undeniable economic progress was not achieved without some cost; it was accompanied by increased debt and has been very unequal between countries. Outside of some extreme cases like Bangladesh where demographic pressure threatens the equilibrium between population and resources, it is most often the less densely populated African countries which are most backward. Factors of underdevelopment appear to be more often political instability and strategic-errors such as insufficient investment in agriculture and general infrastructure than demographic constraints. The correlation between mortality decline and increased per capita income was very strong, especially in the 1950s and 1960s and especially in Japan and the newly industrializing Asian countries and Latin America. The growth of income permitted improved nutrition and education of the population, which in turn stimulated growth of income and population. In view of the data, there appears to be a contradiction between the historic reality and the pessimism of postwar economic literature. The error appears to have arisen because of a failure to recognize that not only do economic and demographic growth have common structural roots, but they are susceptible to dynamic and cumulative interaction. Also, the overattention to high fertility led to neglect of the stimulating role of mortality decline, which is closely related to economic development. Growth of income and growth of population are a priori associated: they are 2 facets of the same development process.
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  19. 19

    The relationship between population policy and socio-economic development

    Wander H

    In: Population policies in Asian countries: contemporary targets, measures and effects, edited by Hermann Schubnell. Lubeck, Germany, Federal Republic of, Drager Foundation, 1984. 429-43. (Centre of Asian Studies Occasional Papers and Monographs no. 57)

    Population policy conforming to socioeconomic development needs to be broadly defined and organized. This term is used as a collective notion for all sorts of political action designed to influence population trends according to specific objectives. The objectives, which are usually expressed in terms of demographic numbers or rates and related to a fixed period, need to meet 2 main requirements: they must comply with anticipated socioeconomic change on the macro-level as well as with needs and interests on the micro-level. When designing population policies, both levels must be considered, the one for determining desirable objectives and the other for choosing suitable strategies to realize the objectives. The discussion first examines the impact of population growth on the macro-level and then draws conclusions for appropriate policies. All developing countries are working for quick modernization and all want to raise productivity, to overcome economic dualism, and to promote sectoral and regional integration. Considering these common goals, the discussion turns to the question of how population trends at the various stages of transition correspond with the need to speed up socioeconomic progress. Leaving migration aside, the salient demographic factors to be considered are fertility and mortality. All economic problems caused by population growth arise from the respective conditions of births and deaths. These conditions are also the targets of population policy. A fall in mortality is a prerequisite for socioeconomic change. Mortality decline should be promoted despite the fact that the population will then grow more quickly. The problems which plague most developing countries with rapid population growth such as severe underemployment, unemployment and excessive urbanization are supported by persistent high fertility, but not by falling mortality. Only if fertility decreases will the other important d emographic obstacle to economic progress, i.e., the high dependency burden, become smaller. To show the basic effects of various fertility and mortality levels on such economically relevant facts as length of working life, youth dependency, and costs of raising the young generation, 3 models are used which correspond to 3 stages of demographic transition -- ongoing transition, advanced transition, and late transitional stage. The exercise shows that birth decline tends to improve consumption standards and in this way to influence economic development before the labor force is directly affected. Almost all developing countries need population policies to set in motion and speed up a fall in birth of either total population or certain population groups. Communal self help activities are particularly useful as part of programs aimed at inducing and speeding up fertility declines. Measures in the field of family planning, which are now the core of the programs, will be accepted more readily if families regard them as a means of improving social well-being.
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  20. 20

    Population theory in China.

    Tien H

    White Plains, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1980. x, 129 p.

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  21. 21

    Further implications of learning by doing: the effect of population on per-capita income

    Cigno A

    Bulletin of Economic Research. 1984 Nov; 36(2):97-108.

    This paper investigates the theoretical implications of the hypothesis that technical progress is affected by population size or growth. It extends the model of Arrow, in which technical progress is viewed as the result of learning-by-doing, in 3 ways: 1) a smooth substitutability between labor, capital, and natural resources is permitted; 2) the concept of learning-by-doing is broadened to allow for the fact that any act of production may involve some degree of learning; and 3) it addresses the stability question, left unanswered by Arrow. Models both without natural resources and with exhaustible natural resources were considered. In both versions of the model, the steady-state characteristics of the economy are independent of the initial population size. This suggests that the population-size or population-density effect advocated by Simon cannot be justified by a learning-by-doing mechanism and the initial advantage of large population size becomes insignificant over time. However, a positive population growth effect on the level or the growth rate of real per capita income is possible. In cases where natural resources are less important than man-made capital, a rise in the population growth rate would increase the growth rate of per capita income but decrease its level, whereas the opposite situation applies in cases where natural resources are more important than capital.
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  22. 22
    Peer Reviewed

    Assessment and implementation of health care priorities in developing countries: incompatible paradigms and competing social systems.

    Makhoul N

    Social Science and Medicine. 1984; 19(4):373-84.

    This paper addresses conceptual issues underlying the assessment and implementation of health care priorities in developing countries as practiced by foreign development agencies coping with a potentially destabilizing unmet social demand. As such, these agencies mediate the gap between existing health care structures patterned around the narrow needs of the ruling classes and the magnitude of public ill-health which mass movements strive to eradicate with implications for capitalism at large. It is in this context that foreign agencies are shown to intervene for the reassessment and implementation of health care priorities in developing countires with the objective of defending capitalism against the delegitimizing effects of its own development, specifically the persistence of mass disease. Constrained by this objective, the interpretations they offer of the miserable state of health prevailing in developing countries and how it could be improved remains ideological: it ranges between "stage theory" and modern consumption-production Malthusiansim. Developing countries are entering into a new pattern of public health which derives from their unique location in the development of capitalism, more specifically in the new international division of labor. Their present position affects not only the pattern and magnitude of disease formation but also the effective alleviation of mass disease without an alteration in the mode of production itself. In the context of underdevelopment, increased productivity is at the necessary cost of public health. Public health improvement is basically incompatible with production-consumption Malthusianism from which the leading "Basic Needs" orientation in the assessment and implementation of health care priorities derives. Marx said that "countries of developing capitalism suffer not only from its development but also from its underdevelopment." (author's modified)
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  23. 23

    [Causal hypotheses on fertility: the preponderant role of the family unit] Hipotesis causales sobre fecundidad: el papel preponderante de la unidad familiar.

    Aguinaga Roustan J

    Revista Espanola de Investigaciones Sociologicas. 1983 Jan-Mar; (21):83-101.

    This article reviews fertility theories proposed by economists, sociologists, and demographers over the past few decades and assesses their suitability to the Spanish case. In the early 1960s the foundations for the so-called new home economics were laid by Becker and others of the Chicago school of microeconomics. Becker held that once contraception became available to all population groups, childbearing decisions would be made in the same way as those for any other consumer good. Becker concluded that income is a direct function of the number of children and their quality. In 1962 Friedmann, within the same model, argued that children like automobiles or any other good-were associated with benefits as well as costs. Judith Blake in 1968 criticized both positions, pointing out that the rich have not had more children in any developed society and that the acquisition of children is not under the same cost constraints as that of other goods. Modifications of the theory by Becker gave greater importance to sociological variables. Leibenstein proposed an explanatory model which related fertility change to economic development through an examination of costs and benefits at different stages. Easterlin used the theory of Kuznets cycles to argue that the size of a cohort is related negatively to its fertility, with the fundamental variable being the labor market. He later proposed a more elaborate model that synthesized economic and sociological arguments and introduced new variables with emphasis on endogenous preferences and ferility. Use of sociological concepts such as "tastes", "desires", and "behavior", and of the term "relative" to suggest subjective perceptions depending on cultural context has become common in economic theories of fertility. The only fertility model elaborated in demography is that of the demographic transition, which has been criticized for being more descriptive than explanatory. In sociology a series of variables have been related to fertility, with only partial success. Some of the hypotheses were studied by means of large surveys, a program culmintting in the World Fertility Survey. Fertility differentials by income and rural or urban residence have been the only 2 generalizable findings to date. Finally, the analytical model of Davis and Blake listed the intermediate variables through which social factors were related to fertility. Sociological explanations are increasing in importance for nonsociologists, especially economists and demographers, and family structure in particular has assumed strategic importance. A scarcity of empirical work on fertility in Spain has hampered testing of fertility theories there. Hypotheses bearing on the determinants of fertility decisions should be tested in Spain, with preconscious-factors such as imitation, pressure exerted by the family and social circle, and affective relations as well as structural factors examined.
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